This article was published in the March/April 2013 edition of the BCT’s Small Talk magazine.
Too many moules frites, Belgian beer and chocolates this winter? Sarah Roberts lists some local places to get fit for spring, as recommended by BCT members
Out and about
For free exercise, the green parks of Brussels offer some great tracks for running, cycling and walking. A list of parks and green spaces within the city can be found at http://www.brussels.be/artdet.cfm/5443
Outside Brussels, the Bois de la Cambre, Forêt de Soignes (both via tram 92 or 93) and Tervuren park (tram 44) offer beautiful walks around lakes and woods.
For those wanting a challenging outdoor workout, Powerhour Bootcamp operates in parks in Tervuren, Waterloo, Cinquantenaire and Bois de la Cambre. http://www.nutrifitness4life.com/Power_Hour/Welcome.html
If you want a fitness target and to raise money for charity, one option is the Race for the Cure 3km walk or 6km run, which raises funds for breast cancer research. In 2013 races will take place in Namur on 5 May and Antwerp on 29 September. Open to all ages and fitness levels. More details at www.raceforthecure.be
Another option to get fit while raising funds is the Relay for Life which takes place at St John’s International School on 15-16 June 2013. You don’t even need to run to take part in this inspirational 24 hour cancer walk/run event. Funds raised go to the Belgian Foundation Against Cancer (www.cancer.be) More details from event organiser Vicky di Vittorio on 0485 22 47 20 www.relayforlife.be
“Pay-as-you-go” badminton group meets at Overijse sports centre, Heurckstraat 3, 3090 Overijse, Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-12 (Belgian school term times only), beginner to intermediate standard, €2 per session and stay as long as you want. Predominantly English speaking, but international membership. Friendly and open to new members. Showers available – bring racket, sports shoes suitable for gym floor and refreshments. Contact Jo Mills 02 653 54 20 or 0464 56 76 09
Brussels International Badminton club plays in Waterloo on Tuesday evenings and Wezembeek-Oppem on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Beginners to advanced. Around half the members play in local leagues/tournaments. For adults and children aged 12+. Yearly membership €130. Mainly English speaking, international membership. Friendly and open to new members. See the website www.brusselsbadminton.com for more details or contact Cathy Tyers 02 354 41 98.
Waterloo offers several gyms suggested by BCT members:
Lady Fitness http://www.lady-fitness.be
Da Vinci (also in Wavre) http://www.davinci-fitness.com
Sport Village Country Club http://www.sportvillage.be
Aspria has 3 clubs in Brussels: Arts-Loi, Avenue Louise and La Rasante. http://www.aspria.be/en/clubs-in-brussels
One BCT member reports that the Arts Loi club is clean, offers lots of courses, has a big machines-training room where you can ask for individual programmes and help, and has a good pool.
The Royal La Rasante in Woluwe is reported to be child friendly with nice pool, separate children’s pool and courses for children. La Rasante and Arts Loi offer childcare so mums can exercise in peace. Also sports stages for children.
At 7 Points gym in Woluwe St Pierre the main concept is a ‘metabolic circuit’ – you go round the various machines and equipment in around 35 minutes with a coach always on hand to advise and help. The circuit changes periodically to prevent boredom. Head coach Britta speaks German, English and French. Also classes. http://www.7points-bruxelles.be/
Lifestyle Fitness owns 11 gyms across Belgium, the nearest to Brussels being in Overijse, Leuven and Mechelen. Classes and metabolic circuits. www.lifestylefitness.be
EU employees can take advantage of the European Parliament Sports Centre which offers a gym, studio classes and squash courts http://www.europarl.europa.eu/interinst/sportscentre/intro.htm
David Lloyd in Uccle is liked by BCT members for its crèche, outside pool that is open all year, and children’s after-school activities, which mean parents can work out while the children are occupied. Children’s swimming classes cost extra. Spa, beauty therapy, tennis courts (indoors and outdoors), restaurant, café with Wi-Fi, kids playground (outdoors) and an indoors TV computer area.
Pilates and Yoga
Studio 7 Pilates in Plancenoit offers classes in French and English and is run by a BCT member www.studio7pilates.be
Chi Elements in Waterloo offers yoga, Pilates and Zumba, also taught by a BCT member www.chi-elements.com
Pilates, Body balance and Pilates fusion are available in Diependaal sports centre, Tervuren www.bydelana.com
If you want to strut your stuff, tap your way to fitness or release your inner ballerina, Jean Emmett offers adult dance classes in Tervuren and Waterloo. Email for latest class schedule at email@example.com
Numerous styles of dance, including flamenco, hip hop and jazz are at the Brigitte Kher dance studio in Waterloo http://www.lecolededanse.eu/
Cleanliness at Belgian pools is generally high with shoes forbidden in certain areas of changing rooms, and regular floor cleaning. Many offer swimming lessons although BCT members report difficulty in getting (a) a response from teachers to enquiries and (b) places in classes. Take your ID card if you go to your local pool as charges are lower for residents of the commune. It is normally cheaper to buy an abonnement or tien kaart (for 10 visits) than pay as you go.
Below are a few recommended by BCT members:
Overijse pool – large pleasant pool, plus separate pool with wild-water slide, children’s pool with slide and baby splash pool http://www.begijntjesbad.be
Zwembad De Motte, Zaventem – Baby splash pool, large children’s pool of varying depths with slide, fountains and overhead tipping buckets, plus large clean pool with lanes and diving blocks. Vigilance of lifeguards varies. Floats are available on request from the lifeguards. This pool only takes cash so don’t rely on paying by card. http://www.zaventem.be/zwembad.htm
Leuven has several pools, including Wilsele (adult pool and large children’s pool with toys), Kessel-Lo (outside, so only open at certain times of the year) and several great pools at Sportoase, Philipssite http://www.sportoase.be/philipsweb including a big slide for older children/ adults and a children’s pool with special times for toddlers with toys and inflatables.
You can find a full list of pools in Belgium, with reviews, at
If you have other recommendations for fitness activities, for adults or children, we’d love to hear from you. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
By Sarah Roberts